All Articles: Immigration news

The Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa

New Immigration Rules setting up a UK visa scheme for British National (Overseas) citizens in Hong Kong were published as part of a statement of changes on 22 October 2020. These new rules had been heavily trailed in a detailed summer policy statement ...

28th October 2020 By

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee levied on the majority of UK visa applications. The IHS is on top of other Home Office immigration fees and is designed to land in a different government pocket. Also known as the NHS surcharge, it essen ...

27th October 2020 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 813

The long-awaited statement of changes giving us more details on the famous “new Points-Based Immigration System” has now been published. It is over 500 pages long and even the explanatory memorandum, which is usually just a few pages long, ...

22nd October 2020 By

Coronavirus and the UK immigration system

This is where we keep tabs on changes to UK immigration laws, rules and procedures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been trying to keep this post continually up to date rather than covering new coronavirus developments as separate b ...

16th October 2020 By

Comment: international students wrongly accused of cheating are losing hope

Many years ago, when I planned to come to the UK for higher education, I never imagined that I would be falsely labelled as a fraud. My whole world fell apart when I read a letter from the Home Office six years ago, accusing me of using a proxy in my ...

14th October 2020 By

Your questions answered by a Home Office Presenting Officer

Home Office Presenting Officers are civil servants who represent the government in immigration appeals. Last month we ran an article by an anonymous HOPO describing how the immigration system looks from that side of the fence and inviting questions by ...

12th October 2020 By

Windrush migrants were wrongly barred from the UK despite having indefinite leave to remain

For many of the Windrush generation it was the hostile environment which signalled the start of their wrongful exclusion from society and, in some cases, the UK itself. For others, the injustice started much earlier. Between 1973 and 1988, many Common ...

5th October 2020 By

Pioneering immigration judge Hugo Storey retires

Hugo Storey had his last day as a judge on 30 September, having reached the statutory retirement age of 75.  The established place the Upper Tribunal now has in the UK judicial system and its high reputation abroad owes much to Hugo’s pioneering ro ...

2nd October 2020 By

I’m a Home Office Presenting Officer: ask me anything

We Presenting Officers can usually be put into two categories. The first group is unable to see anything wrong with any decision and will defend it at all costs. Although hopefully they’re few and far between, anyone with a bit of experience before ...

9th September 2020 By

Government ditches legal aid changes after conceding they were rammed through unlawfully

The government is to abandon a highly controversial change to legal aid for online immigration appeals after accepting that it was pushed through unlawfully. The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 will now be scr ...

12th August 2020 By

You can’t just decide to not obey the law, immigration officials informed

On 4 August 2020, the Home Office issued new guidance to its civil servants on how to respond to immigration appeals that the department has lost. The 18-page document can be found here (pdf download). For the most part, the guidance is welcome. Anyon ...

7th August 2020 By

Government to “redesign” controversial visa algorithm

Earlier this year JCWI, with the help of Foxglove, launched a legal challenge against the Home Office over its use of an algorithmic “streaming tool” that assigned risk categories to visa applications. The tool, previously covered on Free ...

4th August 2020 By

Priti Patel proposes Home Office revolution in response to Windrush scandal

Home Secretary Priti Patel has proposed nothing less than a revolution within the Home Office in response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review by Wendy Williams. In a statement to the House of Commons yesterday, which should be read in full, Patel o ...

22nd July 2020 By

Home Office complaints handling targets “routinely missed”

Home Office targets for handling complaints within 20 working days are “routinely missed”, according to a report published today by the immigration inspector, David Bolt. Mr Bolt also says that the department has failed to keep up improvem ...

8th July 2020 By

Strike-off for immigration solicitor who faked entire judicial review

A solicitor who failed to make immigration applications on behalf of 17 clients and faked an entire judicial review to cover his tracks has been struck off. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Christopher Ka Ki Cheng had “failed to m ...

1st July 2020 By

Research interviews reveal crippling impact of new legal aid rules

Like many other jurisdictions, the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) has been forced to change how it works as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, HM Courts and Tribunals Service made expanded use of an online procedure which ...

1st July 2020 By

Comment: why a Welsh government report on BAME coronavirus deaths calls for lower visa costs

A recent report on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in Wales has urged the Welsh government to lobby the UK government to reduce visa costs, especially for those whose income is too low to spon ...

30th June 2020 By

Bankrupt immigration law firm had “gone out of financial control”

A solicitor whose well-respected immigration firm collapsed in 2018 has been fined £15,000 after admitting to breaches of accounting rules. Lawrence Lupin accepted responsibility for six breaches of the rules on financial and practice management, inc ...

24th June 2020 By

Migrants’ rights during coronavirus: the story so far

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with the avalanche of immigration news and Home Office U-turns since lockdown began, you’re not alone. I’ve thrown together this immigration track and trace post to catalogue the major immigration ...

9th June 2020 By

10 of the most absurd things ever to happen to immigration lawyers

The sheer surrealism of an immigration lawyer’s job can perhaps only truly be understood by MC Escher’s architect or Salvador Dali’s landscape designer: you do your best to navigate the impossible, but you can’t help being occasionally hi ...

29th May 2020 By

General grounds for refusal: understanding re-entry bans

The Home Office can impose entry bans on people who have previously breached immigration law or used deception in their application for leave. Bans can last one year, two years, five years or ten years. Generally speaking, and except for some minor ex ...

26th May 2020 By

Home Office inefficiency “frustrates the purpose” of internal review

Reports by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, now follow a familiar pattern. Mr Bolt and his team carry out an inspection of a certain area of Home Office activity. A report on possible areas of improvement is draw ...

22nd May 2020 By

Wesley Gryk retires: end of a “queer career”

On 13 October 1997, the new Labour government published a document on family visas. It was called the Concession Outside the Immigration Rules for unmarried partners and it was a legal landmark. The concession allowed certain foreigners in the UK to a ...

12th May 2020 By
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